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Veteran actor R Neelakantan passes away

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Veteran actor R Neelakantan, better known as Neelu, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 82. He was admitted for heart surgery at Cauvery Hospital, but did not respond to treatment and passed away at around noon. He is survived by his wife Shanta, and sons Arjun and Bharath.

Born in 1936, Neelu started the famed Viveka Fine Arts Club along with Ambi, brother of Cho Ramaswamy. He was a part of Cho’s famous plays such as Quo Vadis, Tughlak, Unmayae Un Vilai Enna, and Yarukkum Vetkamillai, and acted in 7000-plus shows over the years, with his latest being Crazy Mohan’s Chocolate Krishna.

He made his feature film debut in 1969 in the film Aayiram Poi directed by Mukta Srinivasan and his last role was in Adhik Ravichandran’s Anbanavan Asaradnhavan Adangadhavan. He featured in more than 150 films, including the satirical masterpiece Muhammad bin Tughlaq, and films such as Avvai Shanmugi, Suryavamsam, Dheena, Anniyan and Trisha Illana Nayanthara.

RS Prasanna, who directed Neelu in Kalyana Samayal Saadham, remembers the actor as a quitessential professional.

“We were very particular that Neelu sir needed to be one of the characters in the film even when we were writing the script. When we first met on the sets, he shared a lot of memories of working with Cho sir, of whom I was a huge fan. As an actor he was extremely focussed and professional in his work.”

Source: The New Indian Express